Guest Blogs

August Pet Holidays: Warm and Fuzzy Celebrations

GUEST POST by Jen Flatt Osborn.

The 4th of July has been celebrated, it’s so hot outside the dogs are sweating, and it’s time to get serious…Let’s celebrate pet holidays in August! That’s right, from a day that spotlights cannabis to ways you can give a dog a bone, I’ve got ’em all. Shall we? 

Aug. 1: DOGust Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs 

North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization, created the holiday in 2008. It’s celebrated as the birthday of all rescue dogs. And they call them Mutt-i-grees…How sweet is that! 

The idea came about since we generally have no idea when a homeless dog’s birthday is so one was created. 

There are many ways it can be celebrated to show love for canines without homes. So what can you do? 

  • Show your own rescued animal some extra-special attention by taking him or her to the park, going on an extra-long walk, letting him run through water from a hose, or even going to a lake if you can swing it. 
  • Clear it with your boss and take him to work with you. Just make sure his vaccinations are current and he has a good temperament.
  • Take a blanket, some towels, or food to your local shelter.
  • Donate money to a reputable animal nonprofit.
  • Adopt or foster a dog. You’ll be saving TWO lives when you do since it makes room for one more! 

August 5: National Work Like a Dog Day 

Although the origins of this day are unknown, you can safely say it’s a clever name for a holiday. 

Since dogs are domesticated now and encouraged to hang around the house and gossip about their significant other, some may not work so hard anymore. But rescue, emotional support, cadaver, sled, assistance, and many other types of working dogs have helped humans throughout history so the holiday suggests people should get on the bandwagon and take the hint.

Ways you can celebrate: 

  1. Work overtime.
  2. Investigate the history of our incredibly smart best friends specifically focusing on the jobs that require them to push the limits of their physical and mental capabilities.
  3. Or, to put a spin on things, take the day off and spend some quality time with Scooby. (If Netflix is on the list, make sure he/she has sufficient treats as you watch “All Dogs Go to Heaven.”)

August 8: International Cat Day 

According to www.wikipedia.com, this day was created in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare/IFAW. They also note: 

“In 2020, custodianship of International Cat Day passed to International Cat Care, a not-for-profit British organization that has been striving to improve the health and welfare of domestic cats worldwide since 1958.” 

Make a visit to your local shelter and give adorable Whiskers a home. And why not get a pair of them? Most cats love the company of another feline. After the hissing and hiding subside. 

But just because they can be a little persnickety doesn’t mean they won’t end up being best buddies. Just give it time. 

Don’t forget to post your favorite cat pics on social media. People can never get enough of a calico sweetie. 

August 8th is also National CBD Day. 

Although this isn’t listed as a holiday for animals, the popularity of CBD (the abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of the many chemical compounds found in marijuana and hemp) oil has been used on animals successfully and is available in several forms including oils, lotions, dog treats, and capsules. 

It comes from hemp but doesn’t contain THC, the compound that affects the state of the brain or simply put, gets you high. 

(Although if it did, Chihuahua’s could use a pinch.) 

Early studies have shown it can positively affect arthritis, pain, anxiety and certain skin conditions in dogs, but vets can’t prescribe it — CBD products haven’t been approved for animals by the Food and Drug Administration/FDA. Further testing is necessary for guardians and vets to be certain it won’t do any harm.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “under current federal and state law, veterinarians may not administer, dispense, prescribe or recommend cannabis or its products for animals.” July 1, 2021 

Having said all that, maybe one day soon, if it continues to show positive results, it can be prescribed to our canine companions. 

August 10: Spoil Your Dog Day 

Woohoo! Spoiling them is legally approved! (Just because we do it every day means nothing.) 

Have at it…Go to an animal bakery and take Scruffy to taste-test. Or go visit Grandma which is good for: 

  • You — You get to see her which will include treats all around.
  • Her — What Granny doesn’t enjoy seeing her grandkid and grand-dog?
  • Brutus — The tail wagging will be epic. 

There are oodles of things you can do so today’s the day to skip the bath! Um, for your pup, not for you. 

August 15: National Check the Chip Day 

“To remind pet owners to have their pets microchipped and to keep the registration information up-to-date…” 

AVMA 

The AVMA and the American Animal Hospital Association/AAHA created the holiday. We just need to do the legwork to make sure that if the worst happens, we’re prepared. 

August 16: Saint Roch’s Day (patron saint of dogs) 

Because of his patronage against infectious disease, St. Roch was a highly-regarded saint in the late Middle Ages, especially in those Italian towns in which he exercised his healing powers. Many of these towns have chosen him as their patron… 

He is the patron saint of dogs, dog owners, knee problems, surgeons, invalids, bachelors, diseased cattle, and against cholera, plague, skin rashes and diseases, contagious diseases, pestilence, and epidemics.” 

The Catholic Company originally published in 2016 and updated.

August 17: National Black Cat Appreciation Day 

Black cats have long been seen as bad luck. It’s even believed that if they walk in front of you, you’ll be cursed. (Obviously, these people are no Mensa candidates.) 

To this day, they’re killed, abused, and abandoned due to their color and some people actually believe they’re witches. 

This holiday was created to celebrate black cats and to encourage people to adopt them. Many shelters and organizations, including the ASPCA, reduce their adoption fees for these beautiful animals. 

So go ahead, show that ebony feline of yours on social media with pride. Those of us with some sense love them! 

August 21: International Homeless Animals’ Day 

“International Homeless Animals Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in August every year. It was established by the International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR) to raise awareness of the problem of pet overpopulation….first observed in 1992.” 

https://anydayguide.com/calendar/2363 

Animal welfare organizations and people who are passionate about obliterating overpopulation hold adoption events, set up spay/neuter clinics, and advocate that it’s our responsibility to fix this epidemic in our country. 

PLEASE…spay or neuter your pet. We owe this to our animals. There is absolutely no reason why millions of them should be killed every year because there are too many of them. 

And go save one from a rescue group/shelter. You’ll be paid back in spades.

August 22: National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day 

For some reason, when people think about taking a pet to the vet, they think about dogs — But cats need a doctor’s care just as much. Here are some reasons why: 

  1. Lots of them are overweight which can cause a myriad of health concerns.
  2. Similar to dogs, they are good at hiding illnesses. This most likely is because of an instinct for self-preservation and not showing signs of weakness.
  3. Many of them are taken in when they are kittens but not as adult cats.
  4. There are illnesses such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and kidney disease that need to be checked for.

Some of the treatments that are important are:

  • Physical exams
  • Immunizations
  • Parasite prevention
  • Lab work 

So get Felix to the vet’s office. It may be the difference between a long life for your cat and a life cut short by something that could have been treated. 

August 26: National Dog Day 

This day for animal lovers may be as big as Christmas or Hanukkah! Okay, probably not, but it’s one that everyone should know about. 

“Founded in 2004 by…Colleen Paige, National Dog Day celebrates all breeds, mixed and pure, and serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year either from public shelters, rescues, or pure breed rescues.” 

“About National Dog Day” www.nationaldogday.com 

Not only should we go and rescue our very own best friend, but we should also celebrate the ones we have. 

I now have only four dogs (I’d have ten if my husband wouldn’t leave me) but at one time I had around 40. I wasn’t just a crazy dog lady, I was the founder/director of an animal sanctuary. We rescued homeless and abused animals, mostly dogs, and found them loving homes. 

So go find your partner in crime. Just be prepared to fall in love.

August 30: National Holistic Pet Day 

Holistic treatment, simply put, means treating the whole animal: Both body and mind. This should be what is done anyway, but we’re not yet that advanced as a society. 

This type of treatment may include: 

  1. Nutrition
  2. Acupuncture
  3. Massage
  4. Herbal remedies
  5. Chiropractic treatment
  6. Aromatherapy
  7. Acupressure
  8. Sound therapy

“How Holistic Care Can Help Your Dog” by Jan Reisen — December 18, 2020 — https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/holistic-care-can-help-dog/

These aren’t “woo-woo” or “bizarro” treatments. They can be extremely healing and provide animals with a real chance at living longer. 

Store-bought pet food is filled with preservatives and fillers and frankly, things that would shock most people but providing better nutrition is often just too expensive. Hopefully, in the near future, this will change and every pet can experience eating whole and healthy foods. Additionally, vets should be trained in holistic methods to be able to provide complete forms of treatment. 

And you’d think this blog post is now finished since the daily celebrations have been noted, but you’d be wrong my fur-less friends. 

There are also weekly and monthly celebrations in August like…

WEEK-LONG CELEBRATIONS: 

August 2-8: International Assistance Dog Week 

“This holiday was created to recognize all the devoted, hardworking assistance dogs helping individuals mitigate their disability-related limitations. The goals of IADW are to: 

  1. Recognize and honor assistance dogs
  2. Raise awareness and educate the public about assistance dogs
  3. Honor puppy raisers and trainers
  4. Recognize heroic deeds performed by assistance dogs in our communities” www.assistancedogweek.org

There’s no one more selfless than a dog and now we have a week to celebrate their unique abilities. 

August 10-16: Give a Dog a Bone Week (12th annual) 

This annual event is a national effort to raise awareness and to help local communities across the U.S raise donations of pet food and supplies for pets of the homeless population.

You wouldn’t believe the number of homeless people who treat/feed their animals before they take care of themselves. We could learn a lot from this kind of unconditional love. 

MONTH-LONG CELEBRATIONS: 

RAWgust 

Created to encourage people to “Go raw” or start eating more natural foods rather than processed ones, the holiday spilled over to animals, too. 

Sometimes, it’s a hot-button issue since feeding animals or children is something everyone has an opinion on (I’m a pescatarian and you should hear the input I get) but here are the facts: 

  1. Raw foods were the only form of nutrition for dogs for centuries. 2. With the creation of processed pet food, the option of feeding them raw foods became less palatable.
  2. It can still be done today, but it takes a lot of time, energy, and money.

Since most domesticated animals now eat processed food, it takes someone keenly knowledgeable about pet nutrition to make a switch. A dog can’t just be eating Dog Chow one day and a rack of ribs the next. Most likely, a veterinarian would need to be consulted. 

There are things like HPP (high-pressure processing) or freeze-drying (not easy) that would need to be considered since raw meats contain bacteria. 

Personally, I like to mix it up with my dogs…Kibbles ‘N Bits one day and lean meat scraps on another. Of course, I distribute things carefully so bellies don’t get upset. I also give them hot dogs every so often just to see their faces light up. I try to ration them though since there’s barely an ounce of nutritional value in them. Sorry, Oscar Meyer. 

So there you have it…Pet holidays in August! And you thought nothin’ exciting was going on. 

————

Jen Flatt Osborn is an animal freak and was born with a pen in her hand and a deadline. She’s a copy and content writer and you can visit her at www.jenflattosborn.com or jenflattosborn@writeawaycreations.com.

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